Paint the town this Saturday in Tivoli


There’s something giddily freeing about being granted official sanction to do something that’s usually deemed to be transgressive – like creatively “defacing” public property. Each fall for the past 15 years, on the Saturday preceding Columbus Day weekend, the Village of Tivoli has set a day aside to indulge the naughty inner child of any interested resident or visitor. Municipal employees paint black-framed white backgrounds on 150 eight-by-eight foot squares of pavement along Broadway, from North Road to Pine Street, and then village officials hand out boxes of pastels or sidewalk chalk to wannabe artists and invite them to “have at it.”

Their participatory street art free-for-all is called the Tivoli Street Painting Festival, and it costs nothing to join. Children may participate, as long as there’s adult in attendance. You do need to register, though; that can be done by filling out an application form downloadable at To ensure yourself a spot, either mailing it to Village Hall or drop it off in advance. You can also register on the day of the event, beginning at 9 a.m. if any spaces remain unclaimed. You must start your artwork by 11 a.m. or your designated space may be reassigned. Work must be completed by 5 p.m., when the street will be reopened to traffic.

Music in the bluegrass/Americana vein will be supplied to keep the mood lively while the artists are in the throes of creation.